Eugene Cho

$700,000 in debt and never been so excited to hear from the IRS

eugene matrix

Last week, I shared a post about fear entitled, Do Not Be Afraid: Dream, Pursue, & Jump.  And one of my readers, Matt S., doctored one of my photos to give me Neo-like skills.

For the past year, my biggest fear has been this burden and conviction that I feel God has placed upon my soul to engage the fight against extreme global poverty through the birth of a new organization.

I have been kicking myself for going public with the vision about a year ago. There’s been hiccups, setbacks, criticisms, and plenty of self doubt but after a year since sharing our vision and starting a group on FacebookI’ll finally be sharing the name of our organization, current logo, and our vision and fundraising letter this Friday.

As usual, I’m both excited and scared and covet your prayers.

I came home yesterday having doubts if I was ready to share the vision but lo and behold, I received my confirmation in the mail.  We finally received our 501(c)(3) issuance from the Internal Revenue Services:

We are pleased to inform you that upon review of your application for tax exempt status we have determined that you are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions to you are deductible…

Cool timing. [My wife’s response after learning we got the green light from the IRS: “Now, you can finally cut your hair!”]

I want to publicly thank our organization’s lawyer, Nat Taylor, from Ellis, Li & McKinstry.  He is a fabulous non-profit lawyer and if you’re looking for someone to help with your organization, I highly recommend him.  It’s a worthwhile financial investment – which I should have taken from the beginning.

In addition, our poverty Facebook group has now surpassed 700,000 people. Truthfully, I’ve never been so excited to be $700,000 in debt but if our vision catches on, we’re excited to be able to invest those funds and more in people and organizations who are doing some amazing work.

If you haven’t done so, subscribe to the blog RSS feed or check back on Friday to learn more about our vision and how we intend to do our part to fight extreme global poverty. Even if you don’t have any interest in making a donation to help make some initial investments in our organization, I’d love for you to read what we’re trying to do.

And now, the real hard labor begins…

Filed under: seattle, , ,

32 Responses

  1. djterasaki says:

    congratulations PE! very good news!

  2. Andrea says:

    This is wonderful news!!

  3. gracex2 says:

    wonderful wonderful news, pastor Eugene! God bless you and Minhee for your faithfulness and obedience. This is very exciting news!

  4. teresa says:

    Too cool! I know you’re gonna make a difference!

  5. gar says:

    congrats! what a blessing.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Yay! Congratulations! Our God is so faithful.

    And yes, finally you can cut your hair! We are all with Minhee on that one!

  7. minna says:

    yoopee!!!!
    sooooo excited for the next step in this journey of yours! and i say …. keep the hair. it ain’t so bad!

  8. jHong says:

    me and samohnim are on the same page! that was my first thought too!!! can i be the one to schedule an appointment? or should i just bring some shears and clippers into the office today??? 😉

  9. Daniel Azuma says:

    Congratulations Pastor E! Wonderful news!

  10. la v says:

    congrats p.e.!! praise God!

  11. amen! that’s great man; way to persevere. “God is not done with us” is what one friend recently said 😉 sounds like your own words are a fitting encouragement for your endeavor.

    and let me know if I can help in any way.

  12. eunice =) says:

    this requires a..

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!

  13. Jenny says:

    Eugene, this is such fantastic news! God’s timing is perfect! God bless you!

  14. Bo says:

    Congratulations! Way to persevere.

    I’m pretty good at cutting AZ’s hair. I just stick a no. 2 on the buzzer and just go at it. I’d be happy to do yours for free. I could even get you back to your wedding look!

  15. Maxine says:

    Congratulations Eugene~! When we follow what the Lord puts on our hearts, how can we fail? Inspires me to pursue what the Lord is burdening my heart with…

  16. Darwin says:

    Rock On. Now the party can really get started 🙂

  17. Pam says:

    Congratulations PE and Minhee! Can’t wait to see the haircut 🙂

  18. eugenecho says:

    @everyone:

    minhee didn’t read the fine print. i said i’d cut the hair once we “officially launched” the org. 🙂

  19. leochen says:

    re: the haircut. I can refer you to a good barber… me! and I know only one style…

  20. eugene- supporting that massive bush of hair in back must be making your neck muscles stronger. seems like a backwards way to go about strength training, but I do appreciate your creativity.

  21. That is great news! It’s so great to know everything is official. I am really looking forward to being a part of this movement and following along on this journey…

  22. daniel so says:

    Eugene – Congrats! What a journey it’s already been. Can’t wait to see the impact you’ll make.

    For the record, I’m putting my vote in for a man-perm. With the length of your hair, it’ll be a pretty massive blowout 🙂

  23. johnlunt says:

    Congratulations. I’m following on facebook. I look forward to more on this. I’ve worked with the homeless and others. I think an initiative like this takes a lot of faith and I’m sure God will honor it.

    http://www.squidoo.com/gospelpoverty

  24. Mario says:

    Congratulations.

  25. Tyler says:

    looking forward to friday.

  26. Liz VerHage says:

    congrats Eugene! I am excited to see where it heads and totally get the balancing act that faith, fear, and following the pursuit of justice into the dark sometimes requires. I am praying for your work! 🙂

  27. Joseph Lee says:

    well looks like its time get some work done eh?

  28. The Chiz says:

    Let’s make Poverty AND Mr. Smith History!

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 2 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 2 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 2 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 4 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 6 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 6 days ago